Hockey election to be held by end of January: FIH vice-president
International Hockey Federation vice-president Antonio von Ondarza said that Hockey India (HI) election would be held by the end of January.india Updated: Nov 14, 2009 23:03 IST
International Hockey Federation (FIH) vice-president Antonio von Ondarza on Saturday said that Hockey India (HI) election would be held by the end of January.
Ondarza dismissed fears that the hockey administration in the country is in a turmoil because of the delay in holding the election.
FIH had set a deadline for HI to form a unified body before the World Cup.
HI had set in motion the election process for a new governing body by November 18. The election was postponed after some state associations complained about the affiliation process.
HI secretary general Mohammad Aslam Khan resigned on Friday, saying that he would not be in a position to put in place an elected HI before his term was over November 20.
"The main concern was that some of the state units had not been registered with HI and some bigger states were not recognised. Some associations misunderstood the date of closure. We thought we can discuss with HI and postpone the election so that everybody had a chance to be a part of the HI," Ondarza said.
"We got the communication from some associations that they were not ready for the election as there was quite a bit of paperwork involved."
Ondarza, who has been appointed as election observer, said FIH has not imposed the decision on HI to postpone the dates.
"HI agreed to postpone the election. Sports Minister MS Gill completely shares the view of HI, FIH and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). It is clear that all the parties involved are in agreement that the elections will be held latest by the end of January in a process which is clear, transparent and democratic as per the rules and laws of India and FIH," he said.
Asked if the election doesn't take place in January, Ondarza said: "We do not have any Plan 'B.'"
The FIH vice-President, who met representatives from various states during his stay in New Delhi, said most of the work for the election has been done.
"We do not need all the state units to hold election. We need a greater majority of them, according to the constitution of HI. I will be in close contact with the HI till the election is over," he said.
The FIH vice-president was confident that the World Cup scheduled in Delhi in February next year would be held successfully.
HI president A.K. Mattoo assured Ondarza that there will be complete transparency in granting of affiliation.
"Nobody will be left out in the election process," he said.
Mattoo also said that the test event before the World Cup will be held in January.
"A four-nation event will be held in Delhi from Jan 17-21. At least one pitch of the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium will be ready for it."